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#344846 - 06/01/07 10:31 AM Bad bo bunkai
Ironfoot Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/10/04
Posts: 2682
Loc: St. Clair Shores, MI USA
Not a question - just getting something off my chest.
I've heard people describing the "uppercut" swing of a bo as being a strike to the chin. Unless your forward hand is chin high and/or your opponent is leaning forward precariously, this is next to impossible - the bow will strike the groin or abdomen first. This strike instead should be to the opponent's forward hand (the primary target in bo fighting, IMO). Therefore it doesn't need to swing up any higher than mid-chest.

On the other hand, it bothers me to see the ensuing (straight downward) head strike go all the way to waist high. Not a lot of focus there, eh? The bo should stop no lower than eye level.
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#344847 - 06/01/07 10:43 AM Re: Bad bo bunkai [Re: Ironfoot]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Soooo...you really want to talk about good bo bunkai?

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#344848 - 06/01/07 01:32 PM Re: Bad bo bunkai [Re: Ironfoot]
brocksampson Offline
Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 112
Loc: Savannah, GA
I see your point, especially the upper strike to the chin. And as you said, the hands/arms are great targets. So what if the upper-strike is a defense against Uke's downward strike? You will probably want to meet it his arm at head level, before he hits you rather than after. The same can be said for a downward strike against possibly a side strike.
A block is a strike and a strike can be a block. Try working through bunkai using the traditional "blocks and parrys" as strikes and vice versa. It may open up a whole new range of techniques.
_________________________
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#344849 - 06/01/07 03:11 PM Re: Bad bo bunkai [Re: brocksampson]
Joss Offline
Dragon

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 567
I echo what Brocksampson said. For applications, I think strike ranges have to accomodate a good measure of what-if possibilities. The particular bunkai you are using might not be easily rewarding, but the adaptability of any strike to other bunkai might be fine.

VERTICAL UPPERCUT:
Could be you've caught him at a bad time, and part of surviving is creating bad times for him (or her, Harlan ). Maybe he IS exposed and leaning forward. Could be with a decending vertical strike, or just after you nailed him with a groin strike or a lunge to the solar plexus. Aside, we have notice that, in line drill kumite of blocking vertical downstrikes with vertical upstrikes, we have to be more than a little careful of each others faces as the arc of the "up" bo comes in very close. It only needs a tiny bit of "intent" to make the face the main target with the decendng bo as "alternate".

VERTICAL DOWN STRIKE
For the straight downward strike, maybe you target his head and he's on one knee. Maybe you target his hand, wrist or arm at waist level. Even deeper, maybe you target his achillies tendon or the upper calf at the back of his bent knee as he turns away in a rather deep stance. If he left it out there, you take it. There are just so many possibilities here, I wouldn't limit downward travel for line drills to anywhere above the waist. Even so, I'd probably mix in some knee high stuff now and then too.

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#344850 - 06/02/07 08:10 AM Re: Bad bo bunkai [Re: Joss]
Chatan1979 Offline
Member

Registered: 03/21/05
Posts: 338
Loc: Mahomet , Illinois
You also need to look at some of the movements with the bo as not always being strikes. As someone mentioned earlier, a strike is a block and a block can be a strike, however many of the otoshi uchi (downward or overhead strikes and age uchi uke (uppercut strikes) can also be viewed as throws and locks. If you are looking at the application as bo vs bo, try placing the overhead strike bewteen Uke's wrist and bo and then hook the strike so you almost put them in what an aikidoka would call nikkyo or Kotegaesh. Very very rarely do I ever regard my bo stikes as being aimed toward the top of the head. It is is just too hard of a surface. If I do look at it as being a strike it is going to be on the clavical or possibly angled bit toward the neck.
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#344851 - 06/03/07 09:27 PM Re: Bad bo bunkai [Re: Chatan1979]
harleyt26 Offline
Member

Registered: 06/23/04
Posts: 75
Loc: Summerfield,Florida U.S.A.
Do not forget that some movements are kamae,or ready positions.They can also be openings provided to entice your attacker to strike a very defendable target.When I do the upward,downward or any strike I actually hope for a near miss,I would rather gouge rip and tear my way as near to the intended target as possible.The hands are always good targets though, if I cannot close the gap enough.Never extend the forefinger of the lead hand on your bo it can be trapped to your own bo very painfully, as well as a very nice target.


Edited by harleyt26 (06/03/07 09:30 PM)

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#344852 - 06/06/07 11:01 AM Re: Bad bo bunkai [Re: brocksampson]
Ironfoot Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/10/04
Posts: 2682
Loc: St. Clair Shores, MI USA
IMO blocks are very difficult in bo fighting. They usually serve to speed up the other end. A good offense is the best defence. And I believe the hands and elbows are the number one target. They're the closest, and if one gets heavily damaged, the bo is almost useless.

You want to talk GOOD bo bunkai? OK - most people neglect the back end of the bo.
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#344853 - 06/06/07 11:18 AM Re: Bad bo bunkai [Re: Ironfoot]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
'Back end of the bo.' I've been told that there are few styles that emphasize both ends equally. 'Dragon style'.

I'm still a beginner, but even in my style, I'm aware that there are discrepancies (sp?) in training....some include it right away...some don't.

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#344854 - 06/06/07 04:07 PM Re: Bad bo bunkai [Re: harlan]
Joss Offline
Dragon

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 567
"IMO blocks are very difficult in bo fighting."

This shows just how hard it is to communicate what we mean simply with writing.

I don't at all mean to be other than just curious... but not using blocks seems heresy to me.

I really don't understand that in this context, just from what we've discussed so far. We spar a lot and we use all types of blocks. We use both ends to attack, and even the middle.

What Brocksampson alluded to above...

"So what if the upper-strike is a defense against Uke's downward strike? You will probably want to meet it his arm at head level, before he hits you rather than after."...

...was blocking up into what we call the "V", the angle created between the decending bo and Uke's extended arm. A block there will damage the hand or arm. But it could also be seen as a strike.

I do understand, in empty hand, that a huge level of efficiency is gained when the block and the counter strike occur at the same time. Or when the counter strike, alone, makes the block unnecessary. But, to me, this more approximates tactics with a weapon in each hand (sai, tonfa). The best we have been able to come up with using the bo, is learning to land our blocks (whenver possible) on part of Uke... rather than his tools. We pad up with hockey gloves and arm pads and do repetetive contact drills where I block his attack with my bo onto his hands. This subtly - but importantly - changes the maai to be closer.

Are we even close to talking about the same thing?

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#344855 - 06/06/07 04:10 PM Re: Bad bo bunkai [Re: Joss]
Joss Offline
Dragon

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 567
Or are you perhaps describing a situation where Uke raises his bo to down strike to my head. But at the same time he raises to strike, he opens himself to my lunge to his centerline? No block?

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#344856 - 06/07/07 07:22 PM Re: Bad bo bunkai [Re: Joss]
AndrewGreen Offline
shadow-lurker

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 170
Ok, Bunkai

Upward strike, yes, not much chance of hitting a chin. Range has to be way to perfect.

Downward strike stopping at the waist? Yup, if you're going for power or a finishing type of strike follow through is important.

But lets go more basic. The way most people swing a bo will either break there bo, injure there wrist or simply loose there grip. Anyone that cares about bo work needs to get a bo, and a heavy bag and put the two together.

Next is that different types of Bo's need to be used in different ways. If you have a light bo about your height the "In thirds" method of holding it is stupid. Use the reach and the speed. This is the type of Bo most people have.

Most often once you start sparring with staffs it slide up to having the lead hand around the middle of it. Back end still gets used mind you, but the advantage to a big stick is reach, use it.

3rd's makes more sense if you have a staff that is taller then you, and has a lot of weight to it, and when you are fighting a similar weapon.
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#344857 - 06/07/07 09:19 PM Re: Bad bo bunkai [Re: AndrewGreen]
harleyt26 Offline
Member

Registered: 06/23/04
Posts: 75
Loc: Summerfield,Florida U.S.A.
I agree makiwara work with your weapons is a must to insure you know how you and your weapon will respond on impact.I do not see a use for a light bo,I want a bo that will have some authority on contact. I practice a weapons style that handles the bo in thirds,but the bo has three thirds and we practice using all of them.We also have several kihon we practice that involve the hands sliding together(from one of those thirds usualy),but in general terms we handle the bo in thirds. And I believe that by moving to the forward end of my bo during an upward strike(uriken uchi)with the rear end there is a pretty good shot at the chin area,but it depends on the weapon held by the opponent,how its held, at what point of timing etc.I will keep practicing my up and down strikes, you never know what will come in handy.
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Thomas Hodges, train 100 practice 1000

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#344858 - 06/07/07 10:07 PM Re: Bad bo bunkai [Re: Ironfoot]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3116
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Ironfoot:

If the chin were a viable target, I'd rather hit their throat.

Are we looking at the strikes CORRECTLY? Is up truly an "arc" or is it an angle with a thrust embedded in the solo presentation... and being very small movement/difference consequently gets glossed over or assumed to be an alternative it was not intended?

J

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#344859 - 06/08/07 11:12 AM Re: Bad bo bunkai [Re: harleyt26]
AndrewGreen Offline
shadow-lurker

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 170
Quote:

I do not see a use for a light bo,I want a bo that will have some authority on contact.




The thing about weapons is that it's not that straight forward. Both lighter bos and really heavy ones have uses, they do however need to be used very differently.

I prefer a lighter bo for fighting, more speed and accuracy. Might not have as much power behind it, but it doesn't take a lot of power and weight to whack the back of your hand hard enough to make holding your heavy staff rather difficult

Of course a toothpick style bo is not what i mean, it needs to be able to stay in one piece
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#344860 - 06/08/07 03:45 PM Re: Bad bo bunkai [Re: AndrewGreen]
Joss Offline
Dragon

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 567
We kumite with the ratan bo's - lighter than hardwood. They are more foregiving. We use them so much, I sometimes wonder which is the "real" bo, the ratan which I know intimately, or hardwood which I use now and then for kata.

Anyhow, Wednesday evening I totally missed blocking a horizontal slash at the height of the bridge of my nose. My partner was not using full power by any means. But it caught me pretty solid right on the bony part.

It hurt. It slammed my eyes shut. It rocked my head. I saw lights for a few seconds. Honestly, I doubt I would have been able to defend myself for half a minute or so.

The end result, though was just a 1/4" cut, a sore spot and a bit of a black eye. If it had been a hardwood it probably would have broken my nose... and maybe removed some of it.

And I guess the point is that the real weapon should be what you train with. Either would have put me down.

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#344861 - 06/11/07 04:02 PM Re: Bad bo bunkai [Re: harlan]
Ironfoot Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/10/04
Posts: 2682
Loc: St. Clair Shores, MI USA
a. The back of the bo is where the action is. Consider it as a lever; the back hand is what gives the weapon its force. Ya want proof? Divide the bo with your hands by thirds. Now remove one of them. Isn't the bo (diminished as it is) better used with the "back" hand? That's what I meant, though people cutting techniques short so that BOTH ends can't come into play is not uncommon, either.

b. Ronin, you're right. The arc happens when you stay still. If you lean in (not generally recommended) or step in (fine by me!) with perfect timing, you could hit the chin.

c. AndrewGreen says "The way most people swing a bo will either break there bo, injure there wrist or simply loose there grip." No argument here. If you're fighting with a very light bo it can break. Learn jo techniques - quick!
Losing your grip or injuring your wrist comes from a bad grip in the first place; their THUMB is behind the strike (eg. on the top on the bo on a downstrike) as opposed to the HAND being behind the strike.
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